Washington Capitals (5-3-2 12pts) v. Montreal Canadiens (6-3-2 14pts)
Time: 730p EST
Station: NBC Sports Washington
In a battle of two 4th place teams in their respective divisions, the Washington Capitals and Montreal Canadiens are going to be looking to improve their standing within their divisions. The Capitals are coming off two lackluster games against the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames, while the Canadiens will be looking for their 6th win in nine games.
Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Jakub Vrana
Andre Burakovsky — Nicklas Backstrom — T.J. Oshie
Chandler Stephenson — Lars Eller — Brett Connolly
Dmitrij Jaskin — Nic Dowd — Devante Smith-Pelly
Dmitry Orlov — Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny — John Carlson
Christian Djoos — Madison Bowey
Scratched: Nathan Walker, Aaron Ness
Injured: Brooks Orpik (lower body), Travis Boyd (leg)
Suspended: Tom Wilson
Keys to the Game (Michael):
1. Play a full 60 minutes
The Capitals need to come into this game and play a full 60 minutes. They barely showed up in Edmonton, and they coasted through their game in Calgary, and it wasn’t acceptable. The Capitals need to play a full 60 minutes if they hope to win tonight in Montreal.
2. Keep your feet moving
The Capitals are going to need to keep their feet moving against the Canadiens. The Canadiens are much quicker team and the Capitals will need to utilize their speed to help neutralize Montreal’s.
Tomas Tatar — Phillip Danault — Brendan Gallagher
Jonathan Drouin — Max Domi — Charles Hudon
Artturi Lehkonen — Jesperi Kotkaniemi — Joel Armia
Nicolas Deslauriers — Matthew Peca — Andrew Shaw
Jordie Benn — Jeff Petry
Mike Reilly — Noah Juulsen
Xavier Ouellet — Victor Mete
Scratched: Karl Alzner
Injured: Paul Byron (lower body), Shea Weber (knee), David Schlemko (knee), Tomas Plekanec (back)
Keys to the Game (Armand):
- Don’t give the Caps chances with the man advantage.
- Carey Price needs to play a solid game as both Braden Holtby and Price are two of the best netminders in the league.
- Fast start Montreal needs to get on the board early to gain momentum.
- Lastly No Stupid Turnovers Montreal has made too many boneheaded moves this season.
Canadiens Penalty – 8:23 – Brendan Gallagher 2 minutes for Roughing
Capitals Penalty – 8:23 – Evgeny Kuznetsov 2 minutes for Roughing
End of 1st – WAS – 1 MON – 1
Shots 13 18
Faceoffs 06 06
Hits 12 10
PP 0/0 0/0
Capitals (Michael) – This was an ok period for the Capitals. Definitely did not start this game well as they looked overwhelmed by Montreal’s speed, and at one point was being out shot 10-3. However, with Braden Holtby’s stellar play and a solid shift by the 3rd line which resulted in a goal, and some really solid 4 on 4 play, the Capitals were able to get themselves back into this game.
Canadiens (Armand) – Habs played a great period. Great on the forecheck. Getting tons of shots on Holtby.
Need to Do:
Capitals (Michael) – The Capitals need to start the next two periods much better than they started the first period. Also the Capitals need to continue to keep forcing the play in the Canadiens zone and clean up their own play in the front of Holtby and not let the Canadiens cut through the middle.
Canadiens (Armand) – From what I can see the Habs just need to keep doing what they did in the first.
Canadiens Goal – :32 – Brendan Gallagher (8) from Tomas Tatar (7)
Canadiens Goal – 3:06 – Brendan Gallagher (9) from Tomas Tatar (8) and Phillip Danault (5)
Capitals Penalty – 16:16 – Evgeny Kuznetsov 2 minutes for Holding
Capitals Penalty – 19:57 – Lars Eller 2 minutes for Interfernce
End of 2nd – WAS – 4 MON – 3
Shots 26 27
Faceoffs 18 13
Hits 16 21
PP 0/0 0/1 *2nd in progress
Capitals (Michael) – This period did not start well for the Capitals, but they finished it strong. The Capitals scored 3 unanswered goals after Brendan Gallagher scored back to back goals in the first 3 minutes of the period, and forced the play in the Canadiens zone.
Canadiens (Armand) – Turnovers have killed the Habs Especially on the short handed opportunity Washington had.
Need to Do:
Capitals (Michael) – The Capitals need to play a strong 20 minutes to close out the Canadiens. They need to kill off this late penalty by Lars Eller and use that momentum to take it to the Canadiens.
Canadiens (Armand) – Habs need to come out strong after a poor period. Powerplay to start the period needs to be strong.
Canadiens Penalty – 13:01 – Charles Hudon 2 minutes for Tripping
Canadiens Goal – – Jesperi Kotkaniemi (2) from Artturi Lehkonen (7) and Victor Mete (1)
Canadiens Goal – 19:38 – Max Domi (6) from Mike Rielly (3)
Canadiens ENG – 19:40 – Joel Armia (3) from Phillip Danault (6)
End of 3rd – WAS – 4 MON – 6
Shots 31 44
Faceoffs 35 25
Hits 25 32
PP 0/1 0/2
Capitals (Michael) – What should have been a win for the Capitals became nothing more but a blown opportunity for them. All they needed to do was play a full 20 minutes and truly pressure the Canadiens in their own zone and and keep the play there, but instead this was a period dominated by the Canadiens and they were able to take this game from the Capitals in the final 3 minutes of this game including 2 goals in two seconds to seal the deal for the Canadiens. One of the biggest bright spots was the play of Braden Holtby, and his stellar play in net kept this game a lot closer than it would have seemed to be. The Capitals were out shot 17-5 in the third period alone.
Canadiens (Armand) – Habs blow a 3-1 lead but like the time they played Washington in the playoffs the Habs storm back to get the win. Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Brendan Gallagher each pick up two goals as Max Domi had a goal that would be the decider. Carey Price looked a little shaky at times but made some key saves late in the game to keep the Habs in the game.
Washington (5-4-2 12pts) v. Dallas (7-5-0 14pts)
Montreal (7-3-2 16pts) v, Tampa Bay (8-3-1 19pts)